The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced new rules for the import of hemp seeds.
With the passage of the Farm Bill 2018, hemp and hemp seeds were removed from the list of controlled substances of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Since hemp seeds with THC levels below 0.3 percent were no longer on the list, the DEA lost the authority to request permits for imported hemp seeds.
According to the USDA, hemp seed exporters and US producers have asked the department to provide a legal route for exporting hemp seeds to the United States.
In April 2019, Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wrote a letter to Acting Commissioner for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) John Sanders at Create clarity regarding hemp imports into the USA
“We hear from producers that they cannot purchase seeds that were used in previous years as part of the 2014 pilot program because DEA no longer regulates the goods or their seeds after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed,” the letter said. “Importing industrial hemp seeds into the United States is currently legal. However, CBP has not updated its port of entry guidelines to comply with current DEA regulations, which means that hemp imports will be rejected at the border. “
The Senators urged the CBP to work with the USDA and DEA to provide clarity so that border officials could act in accordance with applicable law.
Since the USDA regulates the import of seeds for cultivation ensure safe agricultural trade, it has finally published rules for secure Hemp seeds import.
Hemp seeds imported from Canada must be accompanied by one of two certifications.
One is phytosanitary certification from the country’s national plant protection organization to verify the origin of the hemp seeds and the absence of pests.
The other is a Federal Seed Analysis Certificate (SAC PPQ Form 925) for cannabis seeds grown in Canada.
Hemp seeds imported from countries other than Canada require a phytosanitary certificate from the national phytosanitary organization of the exporting country.
In addition to phytosanitary certificates, the CBP will review hemp seed shipments upon arrival at the first port of entry to ensure they meet USDA requirements.